South Africa – Improved oncology Pharmacy changes lives

August 1, 2014 10:33 am0 commentsViews: 22
The opening of the new oncology pharmacy at Charlotte Maxeka Hospital.

The opening of the new oncology pharmacy at Charlotte Maxeka Hospital.

More than 25 000 oncology patients who seek medical care at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital (CMJAH) yearly will now receive their treatment from a revamped pharmacy. This venture which has drastically improved patient care is as a result of Public Private Partnership between the Gauteng Department of Health and a pharmaceutical company, Roche.

Hospital CEO, Gladys Bogoshi thanked the staff of both the oncology clinic and pharmacy for the dedication and passion they show towards cancer patients on a daily basis. It is no easy task to treat at least 2000 patients with various cancers per month of which about 200 are newly diagnosed patients. You bring hope to patients and for that we salute you, she said.

The CEO added that hospital staff in the oncology unit is supported by various non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to provide medical care as well as services such as palliative care; support groups and counseling to patients.

Chief Oncology Pharmacist, Karen Robertson said prior to the upgrade, pharmacists lacked sufficient space and modern equipment to ensure safe, appropriate and cost effective use of the cancer medicines they were preparing. Chemotherapy is not one drug, there are many types of chemotherapy and often various chemotherapies are combined to treat patients. Combining different treatments and the mixing of this requires a safety extraction hood so pharmacists are not exposed to the chemicals while mixing. A new hood now ensures a safer environment to mix the correct dose of drug for each patient, said seasoned pharmacist who has been working at the hospital since 1981.
She added that with more space, as pharmacists they can now better manage the stock and they are also very happy to have a new extraction unit which makes sure they are not exposed to hazardous chemicals.

The CMJAH oncology pharmacy has six specialized pharmacists preparing cancer treatments. These pharmacists play an integral part of a patient s cancer care journey.
If a patient or nurse has any questions about cancer medication, the oncology pharmacist is a helpful resource. With more space, patients and nurses can now interact more comfortably with the pharmacists, concluded Robertson.

[Source : rosebankkillarneygazette]

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